Offer days - worth the trek?(32 Posts)
DS visited all of the unis on his UCAS (plus one he opted not to apply to), now they are all coming back inviting him to offer days. He wants to go back and check them all out again, which I understand, but it's 5 days out of school altogether! Do any veterans of this process have views on how worthwhile/how much more he can find out/how to get the best out of them if he does go?
DD2 is also saying we need to go rond them all again. I have asked her that now she has 4 offers, are there any we can reject? But she says that although she knows which one she thinks she will firm, the remaining 3 are still equal.
With DD1 last year, she had to go to interviews so had no choice but to go. I did suggest pulling out of 1 or 2 once she got her first offer but she wouldn't. The days did help her sort out her choices and we did make an effort to visit the relevant cities as well as the university on the day.
We went to one offer day each for both my DDs. This was because one wanted to make sure the particular university was for them and meet other students - decided it was not. The other DD wanted to check out if an undergraduate masters was worth 5 years of study with the year abroad, or 4 years without, and have a look around because we had not visited prior to the offer. Also rejected by DD, especially when told the masters undergraduate made no difference to employment prospects! Therefore I think indecision about one university is fine; four/five is too many.
To help make a decision without visiting further, encourage DC to write a pros and cons list and only visit one for a further look. Otherwise you will be on an endless treadmill of visits and missing teaching. I think young people should be able to evaluate what they already know by looking at what they most want from a university and which universities answer most requirements. Use weightings to decide what aspects are most important and what are least important. Eg employability, cheap living, course content, prestige of university, nice areas to live in, suitable sports clubs, chance to meet like minded students, etc. By now city vs campus vs London should be known. Acccommodation is pretty much the same everywhere, except in London, where it is expensive. The course content is known too except variants such as options. You do get to meet staff on offer days, but, in my experience not many. Nor many other students!
Luckily my DDs knew, instinctively, where they would fit in and be happy so lengthy revisiting was not necessary nor would their schools have allowed it. Have you checked this aspect of the dilemma.
Thanks hellsbells. I think you've got a point - getting a feel for the cities is a good idea; hopefully we can squeeze a bit of that in too. DS doesn't even know which one he wants to firm, so guess we'll have to go with it!
We took DS to his open days, when he got the offer day invites he went alone. This gave him a better idea of the travel, the city and the day was more subject focused than the open day. He found it really worthwhile and whilst it confirmed his thinking for his firm, he also changed his mind regarding his insurance following the offer day
Should have added that my school encourage offer day visits as we want our students to be sure of their decisions.
I thought we were mostly sorted - if DD got an offer from either of her top 2 (v selective) choices, she'd firm one of them, and have no 3 as her insurance. But then no 4 choice have made an "unconditional if you firm" offer, and she's now dithering about accepting that as her firm (if 1 and 2 don't offer) so we need to trek round 2, 3 and 4 again (as no 2 will make an offer for a different course if they don't offer for the one she wants, it's complicated) to see which she likes best. [sigh]. 2 and 3 are easily there and back in a day, 4 will need an overnight stay.
DD1 didn't think that the ones she went on were particularly useful - they seemed to cover a lot of similar stuff to the open days, and she was expecting more info along the lines of details of what your week might look like. But perhaps it was available, she just didn't look hard enough. Posters on another thread were saying that their universities worked hard to put on useful informative offer holder days.
DD2 has two pretty much joint favourites. If she gets offers from both, then she might go to both offer holder visits to decide which to firm.
Thanks everyone - am only proposing to accompany him to the uni i haven't seen already - plus can see an old friend there who lives nearby.
School doesn't seem to have views either way. I think its going to be at least 3 though . I like your idea of weightings Milly, he started a spreadsheet when choosing where to apply; time to dig it out again, in case he can cross anywhere off (I think Bath might be getting the heave-ho, bit too quiet and sedate possibly - but other 4 still v even stevens.) I do feel for them at this stage, it all seems rather remorseless...
Aren't they usually on a Wednesday so it's only half a day of missed school.
Pmsl - oh yes, because every school in the land has Games on Wednesday afternoons. Um, except they don't.
LOL Wednesdays are one of DD2's fullest days at school. Tuesdays on the other hand, one week she has no lessons at all, the other she has one lesson.
Well we're lucky in that way, ds school is a grammar-that-wants-to-pretend-its-private so yes, just games in the pm but still lessons am.
V annoying for everyone else though, and even for ds the same classes get missed repeatedly in the mornings
Ds found the offer days really helpful - there were lots of students already on the course available to talk to about timetables, optional modules etc. He went to three in total - his top choice was an interview anyway so he had to go to that one. The others helped him decide his insurance choice.
Ds went to all his offers days except Loughborough who for some reason didnt give him an offer until 2 days before the offerday and failed to mention it in the offer letter so he missed it.
The offer day gave him more of a chance to have a look at the surrounding area and it was a decision clincher in some ways.
Bath is great by the way!
One of mine had excellent time there
I was really hoping we could avoid these but in the last 24 hours ds has completely swapped round his least favourite and most favourite. One is a 2 day trip <<sigh>> We went to both open days. Is it normal for dcs vacillate so wildly?
I don't really blame them for vacillating dunlurkin - its such a big decision, three or four years of thier lives, yet they don't have that much to go on in a way - I am coming round to the idea that seeing the campus 'live' with students there, and not on a quiet July Saturday will all help. I know realistically all the places DS has offers from would be very good - but its important for him to feel that as well as know it I think? It might make setting off next October a bit less daunting too, if he's visited a couple of times already. So I'm coming round to the idea that its a necessary evil.
Oh and thanks Bin for that He's got a Bristol offer too, and when he heard that a lot of Bath students night life involved getting on a bus to Bristol he kind of thought he might as well go straight to the heart of things! But yes, another friend's DS is having a great time at Bath - sporty lad mind - mine not so much unless mud and bikes with knobbly tyres are involved!
we went through this twice as ds didnt get his grades and repeated year 13. The second time was worse and he was procrastinating until the very last minute to push the button. He spent the evening going through all the performance tables etc make for and against lists. It was agonizing to watch. It did come down to he preferred one surrounding area to the other. The previous year he was very sure where he wanted to go, having been back for a second offers day there he really didnt like the town itself.
Thanks for assuring me this is normal Sevendayweek. I may
insist suggest he does all the offer holder days then. Bristol isn't top for him but is for me, so if they give him an offer I can hope it grows on him!
bruffin that's really helpful to hear. Thanks for posting your ds's experiences I think I'll get him to do some spreadsheets. At least we're only looking at 4 (I hope - he's left 5th choice blank so fingers crossed we don't start visiting another collection of unis to fill that spot!)
Aren't they usually on a Wednesday so it's only half a day of missed school.
And back in the real world
With DD we went to one open day before the form went in and did two random visits.
She has offers from both of the ones we've not seen
and visit day offers from two
she's going to go to the day at the one she's not seen - train on her own as its oop north
the one we went to the open day - she's already toured the department and chatted to a couple of the faculty - will probably get missed with a clear explanation to them why
still waiting on the others
Offer and open days were originally put on Wednesday afternoons as many universities don't have classes on Wednesday afternoons so students can do extra-curricular activities.
Many universities are moving their open days and offer days to weekends instead, so that applicants don't need to miss school/college. (Academics are expected to come in for 6-12 such weekends per year for nothing.)
DS1 went to offer holder days for the two he was looking at for insurance. One was Durham who do offer overnight stays at the college (March I think).
It was very worthwhile as he loathed it, went for the other which was a higher risk offer.
My ds (nor my dns, come to that) didn't go on any, and haven't felt they missed anything, now they are at University.
I wouldn't have wanted them missing time at school, and I think the expense of traveling there etc is all a bit unnecessary if they've already been.
All except one of DS choices require an interview before offer, and he visited them all before applying too. So hopefully he won't need more visits. He has a pretty good idea of his preferences too.
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